A Mother's Guilt

I knew that the transition from one child to two children would be hard.  And it has been.  Very hard.

In two months, however, we've gotten into somewhat of a routine.  A chaotic routine, but a routine nonetheless where both baby and toddler can coexist.  Then the sickness took over our house.

Nathan had a fever, glassy eyes, runny nose and a cough that would not stop.  He was whiny and miserable and wanted nothing more but to be cuddled and loved.

In the past, I would have brought him endless glasses of juice while stroking his hair, kissing his cheeks and making sure his emotional and physical needs were met.

Then came Noah.

Yesterday Nathan needed his mommy and I wasn't there.  Sure I was in the house, next to him but I wasn't the mom he needed me to be.

He needed love and cuddles.  He constantly begged to be held and comforted and I had to turn him away.  I was either feeding Noah, changing the endless parade of diapers and dealing with life in general with two babies.

All of this while being sick myself.

I was a mess.  Nathan refused to eat, refused to drink.  He was constantly acting out.  Making a mess.  Complaining.  Crying.  Whining.

I lost my temper and raised my voice more than I should have.

There were time-outs.

By the time Cornel got home it was as if he entered a war-zone.  The two kids were screaming hysterically, one because of his medicine and the other because he was hungry and wanted out of his crib.

I failed.  I failed as a mother.  By the time the dust had settled and both kids were calm, I broke down.

I cried for not handling the day better; for not being the comfort that my sons needed from me.  The guilt of the day was eating me alive.

After I got Noah settled down for the night, I went to lay down with Nathan.  I hugged him and kissed him.  I sang songs with him and held him close until he fell asleep.

I needed him to know that I still loved him that I would always be that comfort, but how can I make that promise?

How can I be the same mother I used to be to him and how can I be the same type of mother for Noah.  How can I split myself in half to give them both the comfort they need while keeping my sanity?



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29 comments:

Jenny said...

Totally can relate! I have had a couple of these moments. I feel sometimes my time is divided and I hate that. But, I know once Eli is a little bigger, it will become a lot easier for us.

((hugs)) friend!

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

This is something I worry about too. But the good news is that kids are incredibly forgiving and resilient. You had a lot on your plate. I think as moms we don't give ourselves enough grace. You're doing great. Better than you think you are.

Missy | Literal Mom said...

You did the best you could in a very challenging circumstance. With time, it will get better. But there will always be days like that - no matter how "good" you get at it. They're kids, it's life. And sometimes life is hard.

I look at how you ended the day and admire your ability to do that. I've had days where I've been so emotionally spent I've just had to wait until the next day to start over.

Big hug, Barbara.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Sometimes you just do what you can to manage. We've all been there. And if there's a mom who claims she hasn't, she's lying anyhow ;-)

I hope your week gets easier!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I hope you find time for you too. I love that snuggle time at the end of the day.

Liene said...

You didn't fail, your boys are lucky to have such a caring mother. I've had those moments as a mother of two as well as when it was just one, and have to remind myself there are many children who go to bed hungry and cold. All we need to do is the best we can...

vinobaby said...

Oh, hugs to you. I can only imagine what your day must have been like. You will make it through this episode, and the next, and the next, each time learning a bit more, creeping closer towards a sense of balance. I hope you all feel better. Hang in there!

The Anecdotal Baby said...

Big hugs. Since I only have one at the moment I can't relate, but it's something I worry about when we do have another. I think the way you ended the day is most important and probably stood out for Nathan amongst all else. You are a great mother, and there are going to be times you can't be there for whatever reason (that's life), but you make the most of the times you can devote to each child. Hang in there and I hope everyone gets to feeling better soon!

Susan said...

What a great post! So honest. There are days where you probably wish you could split yourself in two. It's so hard.
Hang in there! You're a great mama.

Emmy said...

Sadly you can't. None of us can. Which is why we just do the best we can- and yes that means somedays might end with everyone in tears- but children are wondeful forgiving little people so don't worry- it will all be okay.

Jessica said...

It is a very tough transition at first to go from one kid to two. You can't be the same kind of mom but you can still love both children all the time. You will adjust and the kids will be fine.

Mark said...

You know what I just remembered? I started drinking heavily when John and Claire were the age of your children.
Dude, you're totally surrounded by good wine. Lucky you!
Your Friend, m.
p.s. When I'm not pushing people into alcoholism, I make Crack in the basement. Hey, it's a down economy!
Cheer up Mama, you'll be okay. m.

Natalie said...

This is exactly what I worry about. But hey cut yourself some slack...it's much harder when you are sick. It will be ok momma!

Kimberly said...

The transition is hard, I know. Things will be different and there will be adjustments, but you will always love them all the time. They know that and it will be okay. You're doing great!

Cookie's Mom said...

You know you're not alone, right? And the fact that you are thinking about how to make things better is proof, you are a good mother. Don't ever doubt that! All mothers have bad days. And we all get sick. On sick days you get to just survive, okay? On sick days, you're not expected to be super mom. Sick, tired, etc. - these are the hard times, and the times when we beat ourselves up. Resist, my friend. You are all going to be okay. Nathan knows that you love him. xo

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I remember days like that when my son and daughter were babies. It can be so hard in the beginning with two, as now that you have a toddler you can't sleep when the baby sleeps and then you feel guilty about the older child when the younger one is taking up all your time. Rest assured your children will grow and flourish. Take good care of yourself and it will all fall into place. [[hugs}}
PS: Your boys are adorable!

Hanna said...

OHHHHH MYYYYY GOOODNESSS......I can totally relate to every work of this. MY kids are 14 months apart. They are now 1 and 2 but when I first came home with my daughter my son was so sad it broke my heart into a million pieces. I had to tend to the newborn but I just wanted to hold my son tell himI loved himand it was going to be okay. Now they love eachother so much and plat together and it's wonderful but at first I was terrified. Most days I just sat on the floor crying! We were all crying!!
Thank you for your wonderful comment on Susan's blog about my weight loss journey! NIce meeting you Barbara. I'm so jealous you life in France:) xoxoxo Hanan

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Being sick at the same time as your kids is a miserable thing. My goal is always to just make it through the day! Go easy on yourself. I've been reading your blog for a while and I can tell you're one of the best moms. And two is harder at first, but it gets much easier! Hang in there girl!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

It is so, so hard and it really does take time before things fall into a rhythm again, but no matter what, when you're sick all bets are off. It's just tough!

Your heart is big enough for both of them. Don't you worry about that.

Julia Hunter said...

You will find balance, it appears that you are doing a wonderful job.

Maureen | Tatter Scoops said...

Awww I only have one boy so I always admire those with two children. You are doing the best you can and I'm sure your babies will knows that too :)

Nieves said...

Pufff... it seems a hard work being a mum, two little children is not an easy thing, do not be too demanding with yourself Barbara, I am sure you are a great mother and you will keep on that way, think that simply yesterday was a bad day, just that! you are very caring and smart and you will know how to transmit and give to your two little sons all the love they both need. I am completely sure! Lots of hugs and kisses for your and your lovely boys,

Cam | Bibs and Baubles said...

I worry about this too. It sounds like you did the best you can and that's really all you can do. I think in time, when you're not sick, things will begin to fall into place. It's a new world for all of you and you'll find your way. HUGS!

Di said...

Oh goodness - I have trouble being th mom I need to be with just one. Your babies won't think you weren't there enough they are happy you were there to cuddle at the end of the night!

AudreyO said...

I remember this happening to me once when my kids were young. I was sick, kids were sick, it was horrible. My mom called in sick to work and came over and took over. I went to bed and didn't get up until dinner time. It was just what I needed to get back on track. Hope you're all feeling better soon.

Lisa said...

I found it very difficult the first few months of going from one kid to two. It was especially difficult when the baby is breastfeeding often. I can only say there were days when I cried because I felt like I was not enough for either of them. But it did get easier and it will for you too. Take care.

Katharine said...

You got through it! You'll do better next time! Your kids are lucky to have you.

Shell said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! You weren't feeling well, either!

Kim said...

You didn't fail, you likely did your best. I never used to yell with just one. These days I feel like a lunatic some days.

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